Don Felix: Peruvian comfort food

pollo saltado
Originally uploaded by illewminator.
another one of my favorite neighborhood eateries has to be don felix. it's peruvian comfort food served up fresh and quick with minimal distractions. there are actually two locations and both are located within a mile of each other: one's on beverly and virgil in a little corner strip mall between a donut shop and an ecuadorian-italian place (that is also worth visiting -- i'll have to do a separate entry on it later); the other is further up north on virgil at the corner of virgil and fountain. both seem to have identical menus, but for no discernible reason, i usually go to the one on beverly.

my go-to entree is the pollo saltado (pictured above): chunks of boneless chicken stir-fried with french fries, purple onion slices and fresh tomato chunks and served alongside a generous mound of white rice (see photo). i'm pretty sure the flavoring in the stir fry includes soy sauce, but don't know what else. i also like to add a spoonful of aji, the yellow-green hot sauce made fresh daily and served up in a little saucer as an all-purpose condiment. you can also get the saltado with beef, fish or shrimp -- all are good, it just depends on your meat mood.

other favorites include:
- spaghetti with squid, shrimp, or mixed seafood. kind of similar to japanese spaghetti with a light soy-sauce flavoring rather than your typical italian-style with tomato sauce.
- any of the soups - on my last visit, i had the chicken soup with spaghetti and milk. sounds a little weird but it was good.
- mussels criollo. this is an appetizer in which you get about 6 mussels that are served in the shell but are slightly chilled and are each topped with a huge mound of this salsa-like mixture of finely chopped red onion, cilantro, and lots of lemon juice. it's very tart and you definitely have to like onions, but it's a great appetizer to share with one or two others (i wouldn't/couldn't eat all 6 by myself).

one final note about the beverly/virgil location: in the tiny parking lot in front of the restaurant, it is apparently common practice for people to double park since at dinner-time this lot is always packed. if you find your car blocked in, just go back into the restaurant and let one of the staff know and they'll go around and get the other driver to move his car.


Blogger grant said...

nice...i've actually been meaning to go here with you for years. one of these days......

2/07/2005 11:59 PM  
Blogger NuttinButGlutton said...

the chicken in the pollo saltdo is dark meat chicken too. Bonus.....

I like to put the aji on my butter with a little bread.

2/08/2005 1:25 PM  
Blogger J said...

i have had the pleasure of experiencing the spaghetti, saltado dish, AND the mussels criollo dish with miss lew and i must say don felix is one of my favorites. and now that i'm back from suramerica...and know a little more about peru and such things, i would like to experience the dining in a whole other way! i think the first thing is to check if they serve PISCO SOURS...yeah...the yummy cocktail made from pisco...the official alcohol of both Chile and Peru...now...don't bring up WHO "invented" pisco first...bad blood. pisco, tart lemon juice and sugar...iced. yum.

2/10/2005 12:08 AM  
Blogger illewminator said...

i'm pretty sure they're a beer/wine only place, with only the beer representing. other beverage choices are peruvian cola and some other type of s. american soda/juice.

2/10/2005 10:00 AM  
Anonymous clew said...

I like Marios Peruvian for their Pollo Saltado. They have a excellent spicy sauce and warm bread served with their dishes.

Located on Vine and Melrose, in the same shopping plaza as Popeye's

3/07/2005 10:52 AM  
Blogger VdV said...

I just went to the one on Fountain and Virgil last night and have the Saltado de Pollo, my all-time fave....yummmmmmmm........

5/14/2005 10:57 PM  
Blogger Michelle Alexis said...

I was introduced to Don Felix and their signature Pollo Saltado years ago and have to say, there is no one out there to compete, not even Pollo Inka. The only thing I remain so frustrated with is the fact that, no matter how I try, I can't get the recipe for their AMAZING aji, the green salsa they serve with the meals. I go through five of those little dishes all by myself!! If anyone can shed some light and knows the recipe, I would be forever grateful!

8/13/2006 2:02 AM  

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